I paused early one fall evening while walking Chewy, a little discarded mutt who showed up on my door steps years earlier. As I stood there patiently waiting for Chewy to finish his business, I was entranced by acres of corn stalks rhythmically swaying in perfect harmony orchestrated  by a cool evening breeze that cleared the dark skies above allowing the soft yellow glow of a new harvest moon to bath the patchwork of collective, pampered fields below. As I stood there in silence I imagined for a moment I was a stalk of tall golden sweet yellow corn gently swaying in harmony with my fellow stalks of corn. While Chewy finished marking his territory, I thought, what if under that familiar normal looking husk my kernels weren’t yellow at all but blue, the sweetest and most rare corn of all. And what if I had unknowingly spent a lifetime trying to hopelessly blend into that field of yellow corn, desperately trying to avoid the weed filled compost bin so predominantly displayed in the corner of a vast normal garden.

Sadly, that would have been my metaphoric faith along with millions of others, had not a gifted counselor while cultivating her own unique field of special plants noticed my kernels were different, and thereby required a different fertilizer to flourish as blue corn. Wow, I thought, I wasn't a weed after all, just uniquely different, still corn, just different. It was a life changing moment, as blending in with the normal corn was no longer an option. I needed to find other cobs of blue corn, as one's destiny is hard to ignore!  Honestly, who knows how many ignorant farmers, educational systems or poor uneducated and frustrated parents have unknowingly ripped their unidentified crop or unidentified problem child from pampered well-manicured normalcy and tossed them aside, having mistakenly deciding their weeds.     

If you’re one of those rare (2-7%)  intellectually gifted persons, unknowingly struggling to grow in a vast garden of normalcies and redundancies rooted in a systematic system of compliance that makes normal plants taste great, stop it!  Or maybe you find your-self in the care of a person, institution or employer that only waters the so called normal plants. Statistically speaking, if you are an intellectually gifted adult and unaware of your uniqueness, you are likely to wither, grow old and die tethered to a stalk of normalcy. While acknowledging all the struggles you have already endured as an unidentified gifted adult trying to grow strong in a garden created for normal plants, I am here to tell you it will never work!  Trust me, you're not a weed nor do you belong in societies compost bin!

You feel the emptiness of abandonment as your solitude or anti-social tendency holds you at bay, prohibiting employment advancement while squashing other possible opportunities as well. Pick me, pick me, you shout from within your normal looking husk, as ignorance nibbles away slowly at your venerable undernourished rooting system. You're the only ear of beautifully gifted blue corn left standing, alone again waiting for your turn to join the feast. You don't even know you're different, so there you stand, in an empty harvested row of conforming stalks sought after by an ignorant public that feasts upon conformity (a gifted persons kryptonite) while shunning anything uniquely different. It’s not the corns fault, you know how hard you’ve tried to become yellow. You know how hard you have tried to blend in, so that farmer, employer or family would appreciate you and all you have to offer. Hopefully, a few of your unique kernel's have survived, so lets water and fertilize those few so humanity has options and may intellectually dine on something other than normal yellow corn!

While for some, early acknowledgement of one’s intellectual giftedness can be a bumper crop (keeping within the gardening theme) when fertilized and nurtured in a healthy accepting environment, allowed to blossom and bear its unique offering. On the other hand, the insidious unrecognized form of intellectual giftedness can torment its host for a life time, lying dormant, waiting to root, alone in a crowded bountiful field of normalcy.  I know, I was sixty-five years old by the time I finally discovered I was blue corn trying to survive in a yellow only garden!  

Awareness, my friends is vital to the fulfillment of a gifted mind!  Acknowledgement and acceptance is the fertilizers needed to nourish that uniqueness. Void of recognition, the undiscovered sweet intellectual kernels of your special intellect will remain stowed away beneath that average looking husk. Sadly, without acknowledgement of one's true-intellectual-self, you will most likely wither and end up in the compost bin with the weeds. Don't let that happen to you, fertilize your uniqueness!  

Richard Brees